I wish Ted Miller would write more pieces like this...his writing, in my eyes, gets the short shrift when he all he does is write bullet point link ups on ESPN.
We have a seen a lot of stories this year about the USC defense. We have also seen individual stories on Rey Maualuga, Brian Cushing and Taylor Mays. We are well versed in their talents as they are some of the many faces on this very good defense.
Ted Miller writes a great piece looking at all three as they close out their time at USC. Anyone who thinks Taylor Mays is staying for his senior year is nuts...no offense.
They won't blow you away with statistics.
Maualuga led the defense with 73 tackles -- 21 Pac-10 players had more -- and he had 2.5 tackles for a loss and two interceptions.
Cushing was second with 66 stops, and he led the Trojans with 10 tackles for a loss, including 2.5 sacks, with an interception, forced fumble and six pass break-ups.
Mays had 49 tackles with eight pass break-ups and no picks, though he left more than a few flattened receivers seeing cartoon tweety birds above their heads.
But they helped create one stat that is mind-blowing: 7.8. As in how many points the Trojans allowed per game this season. That's the lowest total since Auburn in 1988.
Here's another measure, as pointed out by the Orange County Register: FBS teams have averaged 27.2 points per game this season. The difference between that number and what USC gives up -- 19.4 points -- is the largest since the NCAA began keeping records in 1937.
I don't know how tomorrow's game will turn out. I give USC a good chance to win but it won't be easy. PSU is very good team, but regardless of the outcome there is no question that this defense will go down as one of the best in USC's history and in NCAA history. I don't thimk they are the best in NCAA history but they are definitely up there in the discussion.
Its going to be great watching these guys close it out tomorrow lets hope that they do go out with a bang!